The body’s need for speed and movement starts with the feet. They are considered to be the foundation of the body, and for the majority of the population, they are essential in completing daily activities. The gait is known as the walking style, and this movement may be measured to learn how an individual walks, runs, and moves. There are various parts to the foot bones, consisting of the forefoot, midfoot, and hindfoot. The back of the foot, which is also known as the hindfoot, is found under the ankle joint and is composed of two bones. Five bones are found in the midfoot, located in the center of the foot. The forefoot is the front of the foot, which houses the metatarsals, phalanges, and sesamoid bone. The foot bones and ankles work together to produce a smooth walk, which is made up of two phases, consisting of the swing and stance phases. The ankle and muscles in the front and back of the leg enable the foot to move up and down, and the transverse tarsal joint propels the foot to move forward. If you would like additional information about how the ankle and feet work together, please consult with a podiatrist who can provide you with the information you are seeking.
Biomechanics in Podiatry
Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.
A History of Biomechanics
- Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
- In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.
Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.
Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.
When an individual breaks or fractures their foot, it can be important to seek out immediate medical attention so that a professional can treat this injury. This is because leaving a bone fracture in the foot untreated can wreak havoc on the feet. Specifically, untreated bone features in the feet might lead to some kind of long-term nerve damage. Autonomic, motor, or sensory nerves may be damaged. Additionally, it is possible that an untreated bone fracture could ultimately lead to an infection of the bone. In severe cases, sometimes even the bone marrow may become infected. More broadly, leaving a bone fracture untreated could lead to improper healing that results in misalignment. See a podiatrist today for more details.
A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Total Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury.
Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:
- Blue in color
Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.
Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.
Many people who have toenail fungus are self-conscious about their feet. It is an unsightly foot condition and can cause patients to avoid wearing shoes that have an open toe. The medical term for this ailment is onychomycosis, and it is a fungal infection of the toenail. There are symptoms that gradually develop and can become quite obvious. These can include yellowed and thickened toenails, and in severe cases, the nail may fall off. The big toe is generally the first toe to be affected, and may spread to the other toes if treatment is not received. The fungus that causes this condition lives in warm environments and can enter the body through small cuts in the skin on the feet. People who have diabetes, a weakened immune system, or poor blood circulation may be prone to getting toenail fungus, and it is important to seek prompt medical attention when the first symptoms appear on the nail. If you are afflicted with this condition, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can prescribe the necessary medication for the removal of this fungus.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Total Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
- Loose/separated nail
- Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
- Brittle, broken, thickened nail
If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.
In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.
In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.
Turf toe is an injury to the joint at the base of the big toe that often occurs in athletes who play field sports, like football, baseball, and soccer. It happens when an athlete forcefully jams his or her toe into the ground and it bends backward, beyond its normal limit. This can easily happen when a sport is played on grass or artificial turf, hence the name turf toe. Some experts believe this injury can also result from sports shoes that do not have a stiff toe, are not rigid enough in the forefoot, or from not wearing the correct cleats on their shoes for their chosen sport. This type of injury usually results in a bruise at the base of the big toe, where the joint capsules and ligaments have stretched or torn. This affliction causes extreme and immediate pain and over time the joint may become stiff and be more prone to arthritis. The lack of mobility in this joint can increase the chance of injuring the big toe again in the future. It must heal completely or will impede continuation in sports. If you or your child has hurt their big toe in this way, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can make a proper diagnosis and offer treatment.
Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Total Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Plantar Fasciosis
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Achilles Tendon Rupture
- Ankle Sprains
Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.